Thank you to all who participated, we are grateful for you joining in this collaboration with us.
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day (1/15/2017)
We challenge you as Poets to use your words in the interest of peace.
Make your poems instruments of change in the world, a change toward universal peace. If you would use your words to cut, let it be with surgical precision that you use to cut out the cancer of hate.
Use your words as torches, not to burn down, but to light the way.
If you would use your words as bricks, use them not to hurl at one another, but lay them on the ground carefully from end to end to pave a road so that those behind you know the right direction and have an easier time getting to where you are.
Use them to build bridges not walls, schools and not prisons, homes and not homeless shelters.
If you must use your words as weapons, let it be to defend the defenseless, but in a way that does no harm and sets an example for others to follow.
Do not decimate your enemy with your words, but teach them that in ignorance there is only our own undoing, that we are stronger together than we could ever be divided.
Teach them that love is the reason we are here and that no matter who or what you believe, you are a brother and sister worthy of dignity and respect in this world that belongs to us all.
A Student of Peace
When we began last year’s collaboration, Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy weighed heavily on my mind as did the man who inspired his peaceful movement, Mahatma Gandhi. There is much to be reminded of, learned, and put into practice from their examples in these trying times. Never before have we had such instant access to the violent images being broadcast from all around the world from the despicably violent behaviors of the ignorant, the greedy, and the hateful.
It is with the broader subject of peace in mind that we would like to initiate the first in a series of collaborative poems. We have chosen an ancient Japanese form of collaborative poetry, the Renga. For those who are unfamiliar with this form and wish to participate, please avail yourself of the following resource:
The Renga, or “Linked Verse,” as it translates roughly from Japanese, was the precursor of the Haiku, which draws it’s name from the initial stanza written for the Renga party. That 5-7-5 syllable stanza is known as the Hokku and is written by the Renga Master who then oversees all the subsequent stanzas written by Renga participants. Imagine a Tanka written by two people and then that continuing in alternating fashion.
Example: (This was written by one person, Michael, The Poetry Channel, and the attribution is simply for illustration.
Fog cloaks the forest
cedars bathe in autumn mist
the mountain is still
-The Poetry Channel
the sun rises on the coast
bright feathers flit in the trees
Jays squawk in alarm
leap in the air in blue waves
feral felines prowl
-Writing Wings for You
Notice that the third stanza makes no sense in relation to the first. This discontinuation is an intentional aspect of the form meant to reflect the transience of existence.
The Renga Party Structure and Rules
Below is the Hokku from us, the Renga Masters
- You must be signed in to comment and participate.
- Upon completion, as is customary, the Renga belongs to all participants in its entirety.
- You are invited to submit your proposed stanza via comments ON THIS POST ONLY a couplet in the requisite 7-7 syllable format. We will build the Renga one stanza at a time each week.
- Submissions will alternate in the prescribed fashion 5-7-5 next week, 7-7 the week following,, etc. Comments will be open until Friday, January 20th at midnight EST at which point we will select the winner based on two criteria:
- Most Likes will pare down the candidates, and the Renga Masters will then vote on which couplet best fits the original Hokku or preceding stanza.
- Be sure to come back during the week and Like the proposed stanza from the other participants found in the comments you think is best.
The results will be published the following Sunday.
After that, we will alternate the stanzas as required by the form (and as previously stated), next will be a 5-7-5 haiku, and then a 7-7 couplet, and so on for as long as there are a healthy number of responses.
We will continue the Renga for as long as we have interest, but reserve the right to terminate the collaboration at any time we deem the poem has run its course or there is insufficient interest.
We will begin with Compassion and Empathy.
However, one of the core tenants of the form is that each stanza only makes sense in relation to the stanza immediately before and immediately following. For that reason the Renga will take on a life of its own as each poet expresses themselves relevant to the guiding subjects, but particular to the preceding stanza. Make sense?
Below is the Hokku to get this party started. We look forward to reading you.
I Feel Your Pain
Clear crystal dew drops
cascade from weeping willows
filling the Koi pond
M. Zane McClellan
iridescent circles grow
a frog drinks the falling tears
Merril D. Smith Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings
An ancient turtle
basking on a verdant log
stretches to the sun
a heron’s wings lift and fall
one feather drifts slowly down
Ken from rivrlogr.wordpress.com
|* Remember: You have until midnight (Eastern time, think New York) on the following Friday to post your response in the comments on this post (We’re Having a Party! ~ A Renga Party!) on this blog (Poetsforpeace.wordpress.com). No other submissions will be considered.|
The result will be posted the next Sunday and you can then submit your entry for the next stanza.
If your offering is not selected, please let it encourage you to contribute more. The very act of participating is one of community and we appreciate you joining with us to write for peaceful change in the world.
Copyright © 2017
All rights reserved
All images are in the public domain, license cc0, courtesy of pixabay.com
It’s a collaboration! It’s a Challenge! No, wait, it’s both!
Coming this weekend, the first Poets for Peace collaboration of 2017.
Sray tuned, more tomorrow.Spread the word. Tell your friends, your blogging buddies, your therapist, even your Clergy.
All are welcome to share their words for Peace here.
As a contributing author to THE BeZINE, it is my privilege to share this post here. The Poets of Peace are issuing a call to action. Reblog and share this on as many social networks as you can. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines or be a cheerleader, you must get in the game.
Since 2011, 100 Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC) has worked with poets, writers, artists, musicians and other creatives to help organize events around the world for peace, justice and sustainability.
Now, more than ever mobilization is crucial. Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, cofounders of 100TPC, have created a GLOBAL ACTION CALENDAR open to EVERYONE to post Creative Actions around the world. Michael and Terri continue to emphasize the need for INCLUSIVITY and true DIVERSITY in our global network.
They hope this calendar will help people connect and give access to those who are often marginalized in our creative communities.
So many of you are doing so much. Thank you! and thanks to Michael and Terri.
Link HERE to post your event.
The photograph is in the public domain.
I will reblog anything that I come across that speaks of Peace until we get going with our first collaborative poem. If you would like your poem shared, please leave it in the comments with a link to your blog.
We will announce the first collaboration shortly. I am leaning toward a Renga (because I have been wanting to do one) on Compassion or Empathy.
May this be the year throughout the land, our day of peace.
My body is restless
My tongue caked and aching with
an unquenchable thirst
Until every voice is heard
until our homes and communities
Until our sisters and brothers decide that
it is not about competition
but our hearts uniting and expressing
will my tongue be satisfied
and my body at rest.
My heart continues to look for peace, and I will do all i can with word and deed to promote peace. I truly believe this energy can radiate forward.
Welcome to the new home of the 2017 Poets for Peace Collaboration. The primary purpose of the blog is to host and administer this year’s collaborative effort to coincide with the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, Thursday, September 21, 2017. Note: (Their website has not been updated to reflect the coming year’s activity, but we assume it will be shortly).
In addition we plan to hold one or two smaller collaborations on subjects that fall under the umbrella of Peace such as, Empathy, and/or Compassion. These smaller collaborations will, we hope, help to create a sense of community and stimulate involvement in the wider collaboration that will begin in July.
We welcome all Creative Souls to share your work here., be it poetry, art, photography, or whatever your mode of communicating Peace may be. Video and audio files are limited by the nature of the plan. YouTube videos and SoundCloud audio files can be shared via hyperlinks. If you know of another method of sharing media, please let us know.
The blog will be administered by Neha, from Forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com who graciously hosted last year’s collaboration and worked tirelessly to copy the poems of nearly two hundred poets into the collaboration that was made up of over two hundred fifty poems at the close of the collaboration; Marie, from WritingWingsforYou.com, who devoted the precious little time she had to track down contributors and secure their permission to publish their contribution as part of the collaboration, and was closely involved with the creation of the initial effort and the subsequent groups and concepts that that movement has engendered, such as the Facebook Group, Poets for Peace which we encourage you to join also; and me, Michael, from ThePoetryChannel.wordpress.com. I came up with the idea for the collaboration and then in the spirit of Tom Sawyer got Neha and Marie to whitewash the fence.
Our primary role here is to administer the poetry collaborations and to facilitate the community that we hope to create, our Tribe of Creative Souls, of which we invite you to become a part.
All that we ask is that no hateful expressions of any kind be shared here. Inadvertently derogatory comments and poetry/art will not be shared. Repeated offenses will result in the banning of the user from this website.
We are an inclusive Tribe!
Look for announcements about future collaborations. Anything you wish to share will have to be via comments so that we can moderate for the time being. Anyone interested in contributing, please let us know.
We look forward to expanding the outreach to include more countries this year.
Photo Credit: Neha Dasgupta-Parmar
To view and/or download the PDF of last year’s collaboration, please visit Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature.